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CONNECT THE WORLD
Dominique-Strauss Kahn Remains in Police Custody; International Criminal Court Requests Arrest Warrants for Gadhafi
Aired May 16, 2011 - 16:00:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
BECKY ANDERSON, HOST: Deemed a flight risk, the head of the IMF is denied bail in New York after being charged with sexually assaulting a hotel maid.
With Dominique-Strauss Kahn out of the picture, can the Eurozone's bailout talks continue to make any progress?
Plus, accused of personally ordering attacks on his own people -- Colonel Gadhafi's arrest is sought by the war crimes prosecutor.
And after two years underwater, could this flight recorder be about to reveal the mystery behind the loss of Air France 447?
Those stories and more this hour, as we connect the world.
Well, the head of the International Monetary Fund will remain in police custody for at least four more days after he was deemed a flight risk by a judge in New York and denied bail. Dominique Strauss-Kahn has -- was in court on charges that he sexually assaulted a maid at a hotel in Manhattan on Saturday.
Well, he is facing a host of serious accusations, all of which he denies.
But the news has ricocheted around the world. Coming up, we're going to head to the courthouse in Manhattan, where Richard Roth has the very latest for you. We'll get reaction from Jim Bittermann in Paris, where Strauss-Kahn has been seen as a possible candidate for the French presidency. And John Defterios is your man in Brussels tonight, where Strauss-Kahn was meant to attend a meeting of the EU finance ministers today. Obviously, he didn't.
Well, instead, he is in police custody in New York.
CNN's Richard Roth has been watching all of the day's developments from the courthouse.
And he joins us now live.
It's been a busy day at the courthouse in Manhattan -- Richard, what happened?
RICHARD ROTH, CNN SENIOR UNITED NATIONS CORRESPONDENT: Well, Becky, the man who is used to helping countries get bailout, financial money, was unable to get bailed out in his own case, charged with several counts involving sexual assault allegations and unlawful imprisonment. Dominique- Strauss Kahn still in custody following a court hearing in the courthouse behind me.
Last night, of course, he was transferred from one facility to another and cameras got a good look at him in handcuffs, a state he is normally, as the IMF director, not caught in.
The prosecutors say that he is a flight risk and argued with the judge that he could become like film director Roman Polanski and never return to face these charges.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOHN MCCONNELL, ASSISTANT DISTRICT ATTORNEY: Given the strength of the case as it now stands and the potential for additional evidence to be generated, the defendant has additional motivation to flee.
We also know that the defendant has the personal, political and financial resources to, in fact, flee and evade court. He is a person of means, of sophistication and by all appearances, he has the resources to evade capture and prosecution were he to be released.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ROTH: The prosecution mentioned other acts they believe that Strauss- Kahn may have been involved in similar to this one.
The defense attorney says those are just allegations. They said Strauss-Kahn could pot up -- could put up a million dollars in bail, could stay in New York with his daughter and was not really a flight risk and should be granted bail.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BENJAMIN BRAFMAN, STRAUSS-KAHN'S ATTORNEY: We are disappointed, but this case has just begun. He is still presumed innocent. And I would ask all of you...
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We can't hear anything.
BRAFMAN: -- and I would ask all of you to please allow him the presumption of innocence so we can, hopefully, still get a fair trial when that happens. We intend to review this decision to see if it should be appealed and we will be in touch in the near future.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ROTH: Judge Jackson said that she was a fair judge and that Strauss- Kahn should be treated like any other defendant, as she considered whether to set him free. And she ruled that he was, indeed, a flight risk -- Becky.
ANDERSON: All right. Well, that's some surprising news out of New York tonight, perhaps.
Richard, thank you for that.
Here's some background on Dominique-Strauss Kahn.
As the head of International Monetary Fund, the 62-year-old has been a major figure during the global economic crisis. Look at just some of this, you will.
He's married to -- to a journalist -- she's there -- and is the father of four. In the late 1990s, he served for two years as France's finance minister. He then moved on to the IMF in 2007. Has been managing director there since then, a key player, let me tell you, a key player in the efforts toward worldwide economic reforms.
He's also been a national lawmaker, an economics professor in Paris and has widely been considered a leading potential candidate for the French presidency.
But those ambitions seem, at best, uncertain, in the wake of these charges. People all over the world are following this story, not least the -- those in Strauss-Kahn's home country, France, of course.
A short time ago, I spoke with CNN's Jim Bittermann in Paris, who described the local reaction.
This is what he said.
JIM BITTERMANN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: I would say shock and disbelief, because, Becky, you have to remember that 72 hours ago, this man was going to be the next president of France, according to all the public opinion polls. Even though he hadn't declared his candidacy, he was the leading candidate. He was going to beat everyone, including President Sarkozy, next May, when the elections take place.
So I think there's a lot of shock and disbelief over at the Socialist Party headquarters today. People were in tears over this. One person said seeing him in handcuffs was just unbearably cruel.
And I think it's -- it's just that. It's -- it's hard to imagine that this has all taken place. But then some things are coming out, some stories are coming out and they sort of reinforce the idea that what's happening in New York maybe had some legitimacy to it -- Becky.
ANDERSON: Yes, well, whatever happens in New York, what does this mean for Dominique-Strauss Kahn's domestic political ambitions, do you think?
BITTERMANN: I think, basically, they're dead at this point. I think, for one thing, we saw that the socialist newspaper this morning had its headline. And it said: "DSK O-U-T." And he -- you don't have to know French to understand that means out. And he's, I think, out of it, in terms of any presidential ambitions and probably any kind of political comeback. Even if he gets cleared of the -- this charge against him, it's hard to imagine that how can get clear of the image problems and the cloud that's going to hang over his head if he comes back to run for higher office.
ANDERSON: So who stands to gain, Jim?
BITTERMANN: Good question. I mean and the fact is that over in the Socialist Party headquarters, there are few people who -- rivals of Dominique-Strauss Kahn who now will come to the fore, no question about it. There's a man named Francois Hollande, who is the former head of the party. He may very well come to the fore as one of the leaders. He's -- he's the second highest in the public opinion polls.
Nicolas Sarkozy could, in fact, gain by this. The -- but there's no reason for him to be necessarily all that happy about it, because the polling has indicated recently that he's way down. He's down in the fourth position. And, in fact, in some polls, actually falls behind Marine Le Pen, the extreme right candidate.
So Dominique-Strauss Kahn's support will probably go to the left. It will probably go to some of his supporters in the Socialist Party who are - - now will support other people. But a few could go to the center and to the right, because he did have some supporters among those voters. So we'll have to see how this all plays out. It's still early days yet.
But I think over the next couple of weeks, we'll see some different faces, some other faces rising to the fore.
(END VIDEO TAPE)
ANDERSON: This story that started in New York has ripple effects, as you can imagine, around the world.
The French media following this story intently.
The newspaper "Le Monde" looks at how the political landscape will be altered by Strauss-Kahn's arrest. One of the headlines on their Web site late tonight reads: "Francois Hollande Could Be the Biggest Beneficiary of the Fall of DSK," as Jim mentioned just a moment ago.
"Le Figaro" is focusing on the investigation, with a headline reading: "Police Searching for Evidence in the Case of DSK."
And, finally, "The New York Times" looks at international repercussions with a headline: "E.U. Presses Ahead with Bailout Talks Despite IMF Chief's Absence."
And that is where we find -- or we certainly get John Defterios tonight to pick up the story for us.
He is in Brussels for you, where Dominique-Strauss Kahn was supposed to be today -- but the European finance ministers, of course, John, met without him.
Was there a noticeable Dominique-Strauss Kahn effect at this meeting today?
JOHN DEFTERIOS, HOST, "MARKETPLACE MIDDLE EAST": Yes, I would say so, Becky. Let's call it a day of intrigue in a city, the EU capital, that's not known for mystery. The European finance ministers, in this building behind me, are still trying to wrap up seven hours of meetings. And think of the European bailouts, Becky, as supported by two pillars, one being the European central bank, led by Jean-Claude Trichet, and the other, the International Monetary Fund, led by Dominique-Strauss Kahn.
Noticeably absent was one of those pillars today. They did move ahead with some business in the last three hours. And that was the Portuguese bailout, worth $110 billion. But, ironically, that was shaped by Dominique-Strauss Kahn before coming into the meeting.
ANDERSON: John, you talked about Dominique-Strauss Kahn as the head of the IMF. I wonder just how significant a role the organization has actually played since the onset of the financial crisis.
DEFTERIOS: Yes, let's go back to the autumn of 2008 and the Lehman crisis. And you remember it well. There was a vacuum in the global markets.
Who was going to take the lead and embrace this concept of the Group of Eight countries going to the Group of Twenty?
This was led by the International Monetary Fund, with Dominique- Strauss Kahn, and his deputy, John Lipsky, who has now decided to resign at the end of August, at the end of his five year term. So they filled a huge void.
Then roll forward the clock the European bailouts. Again, the International Monetary Fund was front and center.
Today, the Portuguese bailout, Becky, was fairly easy to tackle, because it was on the table. But watch Greece. And this is where he will be absent again, because it's so delicate. They have a -- a $20 billion payment, which is due in June, just to -- to tick forward. There's a $92 billion shortfall in 2012 and 13. They're debating it right now behind me. And, again, they're looking...
DEFTERIOS: -- for more sacrifice by the Greek people, some $96 billion in additional cuts and privatization.
So this is where he is missed, when you need to massage the rough edges of a more desperate country right now, being Greece.
ANDERSON: Yes, it's a mess, isn't it?
Listen, John, you -- you just alluded to the fact that the -- his deputy, Dominique-Strauss Kahn's deputy, is leaving next year.
This leaves a huge vacuum at the top of what is an incredibly important and perhaps more important organization than it's ever been before, or perhaps certainly for -- for some time.
Who will lead?
If Dominique-Strauss Kahn is to stand down -- and there's a big if there, obviously, still.
But if he is to stand down, who's going to take the lead role at the IMF, do you think?
DEFTERIOS: Well, it's an incredibly important question. And traditionally, as you know, the IMF has been led by a European. And right now, if you take a step back from this all, the IMF, led by a Frenchman, and the European central bank, led by a Frenchman, Jean-Claude Trichet.
He's stepping down in the autumn. The future of Dominique-Strauss Kahn is in question right now. And this is something the French have been very proud of. Already, candidates for John Lipsky have come in from India, Mexico, Turkey. And they even talk here in the halls, potentially, a China -- a person from China to take over that role.
There are some rumors that -- here in the halls at Brussels, that Christine Lagarde, the current finance minister, would make a nice candidate. But that's a big question mark and very early discussions taking place. She hasn't commented whatsoever.
ANDERSON: Yes. OK, I'll be behind closed doors, that is pretty much all they're talking about at the moment. Well, I mean to a lot of these of sides to this story, but that will be one of them, anyway -- John...
DEFTERIOS: You can bet.
ANDERSON: Yes, absolutely.
Your man in Brussels tonight, John Defterios on the story for you.
All right, still to come on CONNECT THE WORLD here on CNN, wanted for crimes against humanity -- the International Criminal Court has called for the arrest of Moammar Gadhafi.
Just how likely is it that the Libyan leader will stand trial?
And a security scare in London -- why the U.K. is getting bomb threats ahead of the start of an historic visit to Ireland by the British monarch.
And the Brazilian beauty fighting scars on the environment -- model Gisele Bundchen is your Connector of the Day today.
That all coming up in the next hour.
Stay with us.
ANDERSON: Well, the push to arrest Libya's leader -- the International Criminal Court takes legal action against Moammar Gadhafi and two members of his regime for the first time since the start of the war.
But will warrants be issued?
A closer look at that case in a few moments.
I'm Becky Anderson in London for you, as ever.
You're watching CONNECT THE WORLD here on CNN.
It's 16 minutes past 9:00 in London.
Here's a look at the other stories that we're following for you this hour.
And the death toll from drone attacks in Pakistan continues to rise with four suspected militants killed on Monday. It comes as U.S. senator, John Kerry, visited Islamabad to try and mend relations with Pakistan over the killing of Osama bin Laden.
Now, Pakistan condemned the secret raid and has called for an end to drone attacks.
But Senator Kerry said Pakistanis should direct their anger at bin Laden, who was responsible for hundreds of deaths in the country.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. JOHN KERRY (D), MASSACHUSETTS: We must never lose sight of this central fact -- we are strategic partners with a common enemy in terrorism and extremism. Both of our countries have sacrificed too many citizens and troops in the fight and -- and many too many to consider abandoning this important relationship for one reason or another. Far too much is at stake here.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ANDERSON: John Kerry there in Islamabad.
Well, meanwhile, a Saudi Arabian diplomat has been shot dead in Karachi. The man who worked as a security official was gunned down in his car by assassins on motorcycles. It's the second attack on the Saudi interests in Pakistan since bin Laden was killed two weeks ago.
Police say the killing appears to be linked to a grenade attack on Saudi Arabia's consulate building last week.
Well, the Space Shuttle Endeavour is on its final mission. It took off today on a 16 day mission to International Space Station. It will be retired after this trip, closing out a 19 year career in the shuttle fleet. Well, the Space Shuttle Atlantis is scheduled to carry out the program's final mission next month.
The U.S. House member, Gabrielle Giffords, watched the launch from Kennedy Space Center. She's the wife of Shuttle Commander Mark Kelly and she's still recovering after being shot in the head earlier this year.
Her chief of staff described the scene there.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
PIA CARUSONE, CHIEF OF STAFF TO GABRIELLE GIFFORDS: For all of us, we were sort of speechless during this process. So there was -- you know, I can't say there were a lot of words, you know, during the -- the viewing. But -- but she did, at the end, say to me -- I was sort of standing to her left. And she looked up at me and she said, "Good stuff. Good stuff."
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ANDERSON: Well, Kenyan Olympic champion Samuel Wanjiru has died at the age of 24. Police say that the marathon runner jumped from the second floor of his home late on Sunday after his wife caught him with another woman. He died of his injuries. Well, at the Beijing Olympics in 2008, Wanjiru became the first Kenyan to win the marathon gold medal.
American real estate mogul and television celebrity, Donald Trump, has announced today that he will not run for president in 2012. In the typical Trump fashion, he declared that he would have won the election but that he is not yet ready to leave the private sector.
Well, the iffy outcome of NATO's bombing campaign in Libya is causing rifts within the alliance. The questions being asked, the dilemmas faced and the results so far coming up for you.
Plus, nearly two years after the crash of Air France 447, crucial new clues come to light and the mystery may soon be over.
Stay with us.
You're watching CNN.
ANDERSON: In Libya, demonstrations quashed and civilians attacked by snipers and thousands of people killed -- all direct evidence of crimes against humanity, according, at least, to the International Criminal Court's top prosecutor, after what has been a pretty speedy investigation. He has requested arrest warrants for Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi and two members of his inner circle.
More on the case now from senior international correspondent, Nic Robertson.
NIC ROBERTSON, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: The quest for the arrest warrants is just the beginning of the process here at the International Criminal Court. The chief prosecutor, Luis Moreno-Ocampo, says he's confident that the judges will issue the warrants against Moammar Gadhafi, against his second son, Saif al-Islam, against Moammar Gadhafi's brother-in-law and military intelligence chief, Abdullah al-Sanussi. And he also says that he expects to be able to present evidence here that they had a direct role in what he describes as widespread and systemic abuse of putting down the civilian population as they tried to revolt against the government.
He calls this crimes against humanity, of murder and of prosecution. He says he has direct evidence of the three men's involvement.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
LUIS MORENO-OCAMPO, CHIEF PROSECUTOR, INTERNATIONAL CRIMINAL COURT: The civilians attacking the demonstrations. And we have all the evidence they were attacked. There was even artillery in the funerals.
So there are snipers waiting for people coming out of this mosque.
But the worst thing is happening today in the areas on the (INAUDIBLE), because Gadhafi organized to arrest any suspect to be a dissident and they tortured them and they disappeared. So they worst happened today. So it's not (INAUDIBLE), it continues.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ROBERTSON: A source with knowledge of back channel peace talks say that the arrest warrants will make it much harder to negotiate a settlement in Libya because the regime leaders will have their backs against the wall and nothing to lose, everything to fight for. And they say that could mean a bloody battle for the capital, Tripoli.
Luis Moreno-Ocampo, the chief prosecutor, says that isn't his responsibility, that negotiators will have to be creative. But he does believe that by pushing ahead with the arrest warrants, it will prompt people to rise up against Gadhafi. He says in the last few days, he's received phone calls from senior people in the regime willing to offer evidence against these three men.
Nic Robertson, CNN, at the International Criminal Court, the Hague, the Netherlands.
(END VIDEO TAPE)
ANDERSON: All right, well, that's the story from there.
Even though it's unlikely that Colonel Gadhafi would be arrested any time soon, rebels in Libya are embracing the prosecutor's moves, saying it will give them -- their movement a boost of momentum.
A rebel spokesman told CNN the arrest warrants, if issued, are not enough, but they are at least a start.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JALAL AL-GALLAL, LIBYAN TRANSITIONAL COUNCIL MEDIA COMMITTEE: Well, it is very important. And, actually, generally, people feel relieved that at long last, that the world is acknowledging that Gadhafi, his family and his entourage, are the perpetrators of crimes over the last 42 years.
It also sends a very clear signal to all those around him that nobody is exempted. And it will obviously help speed defection and desertion.
So people would be naturally relieved.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ANDERSON: Well, that's the rebels' side of the story.
The Libyan government's reaction to the request for arrest warrants is basically that it has no reaction, that it's not an ICC member state and therefore it doesn't care.
Well, Nima Elbagir comes to us from Tripoli with more on that -- Nima.
NIMA ELBAGIR, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, yes, and a real studied show of indifference here in Tripoli, Becky.
The Libyan government has cited to us the example of the precedent set by the Sudanese president, Omar al-Bashir, who, in spite of having an outstanding arrest warrant out against him, continues to travel and continues to sit in power.
And all this, of course, comes on the day that NATO has struck, for the fourth time -- I'm sorry, for the fifth time on Gadhafi's Bab al- Aziziyah Compound. This was a daylight strike, the second we've had during this week. And it really gives us a sense, as they continue to hammer at the -- the heart of his -- his rule structure here in Tripoli, that perhaps the ICC really is -- that this show of indifference isn't that put on, that the ICC really is the least of the Libyan government's problems at the moment -- Becky.
ANDERSON: Nima Elbagir in Tripoli for you.
Nima, thank you for that.
Well, let's delve deeper then into NATO's role in the war, shall we?
Divisions within the alliance and the debate over how hard it should be hammering forces loyal to Colonel Gadhafi at the top of many people's minds.
Micah Zenko is with the Council on Foreign Relations, where he is a fellow for conflict prevention, an expert on the case and therefore coming to you tonight from New York.
You know, there will be viewers tonight, Michael -- who are asking -- Micah, sorry -- who are asking why, given the commitment by the alliance, some time ago, is Gadhafi still a threat to the people of Libya.
What is the answer to that?
MICAH ZENKO, FELLOW, COUNCIL ON FOREIGN RELATIONS: Well, Gadhafi, you know, has retained the military capability, as is shown by the shelling of many urban populations, to kill and threaten populations and to stop the provision of humanitarian assistance. And the sort of tense stalemate is where things stand mean that as long as Gadhafi stands, according to many Western governments, the threat to civilians will be so great that NATO needs to continue its military commitment.
ANDERSON: Yes. Five times on Tripoli and the compound where Gadhafi lives. Still no news as to, you know, whether anything happened or there was any result of -- resultant injuries or deaths.
But there was -- listen, there was never an enormous appetite, was there, within the alliance for NATO action?
Let's talk about where the appetite is then, as -- as we move through the weeks and still get no results, as it were, out of Libya.
Who wants this action?
ZENKO: Well, the -- the countries that were so forward leaning in getting NATO involved, mainly the Arab League, which passed a resolution in mid-March, as well as the French and the British, now have brought very little commitment to conducting the air strikes, providing the close air support for the rebels and conducting air strikes against regime assets.
The French and the British are almost out of deliverable weapons at this point. Countries like Norway, who have led a lot of actual strike sorties in Libya, are frustrated with all the commitments. And the Americans, given their commitment two weeks ago of just two drones, that is, four Hellfire tank missiles...
ZENKO: -- over a country the size of Alaska, demonstrates that no country in NATO is willing to commit the resources...
ZENKO: -- necessary that would be needed to topple the military balance on the ground.
ANDERSON: So what you're saying is Washington is not really interested, at the end of the day?
Britain and France are, but they're running out of weapons.
So what happens next?
ZENKO: I think what happens is the stalemate on the ground, the military stalemate on the ground continues. NATO can escalate to infrastructure strikes like bridges, electrical infrastructure, try to bring the fight more directly to Gadhafi and his cohorts in Tripoli. That has the likelihood of more civilian casualties and collateral damage.
The alliance can also decide to formally train and arm the rebels, which is a violation, according to the United States government, of earlier U.N. Security Council resolutions.
So in the absence of doing the escalated air strikes and these forces willing to do that or -- and in the absence of formally arming the rebels, it's unlikely that the situation will improve markedly soon, which is a tor -- a terrible thing, given that a humanitarian catastrophe is unfolding.
ANDERSON: Just one question to you.
Do you believe that the -- in the tribal areas, there is still support for Gadhafi or not?
Because if there is, the rebels, effectively, are on one side of a civil war and NATO is getting involved in a real mess, isn't it?
ZENKO: Well, NATO says repeatedly and -- that they do not pick sides in the civil war. They will only engage forces that are threatening civilian populations. But actually, NATO is on one side of the civil war. The rebel force to seek Gadhafi's removal receives the overwhelming support of the populations, by all accounts.
The problem is that, according to the United States -- and Secretary Gates said this again last -- late last week -- despite the top tier of political leaders from the rebels, we really have no idea who they are. This is despite over two months now of open conflict in Libya. Thus, it's less likely the United States is going to provide lethal aid. It's less likely that other members of NATO are going to provide arms. And it's less likely that the rebels are going to be allowed to sell oil on the open market to provide them with the money they need to survive...
ANDERSON: All right...
ZENKO: -- and to get weapons and to have day to day life.
ANDERSON: We're going to have to leave it there, Micah.
We're going to pay for the show and take an advertising break.
Always a pleasure.
Thank you very much, indeed.
The picture out of NATO this evening.
All right, well, you're watching CONNECT THE WORLD here on CNN.
Just before half past nine in London.
Still to come on tonight's show, against the odds it was salvaged and against the odds it is in good condition. Crucial data from the ill-fated Air France 447 is finally being analyzed.
Could this mean a two year old crash mystery is about to be solved?
That is the story coming up, plus your headlines. You're with CNN, stay with us.
ANDERSON: A very warm welcome back. You're watching CONNECT THE WORLD, I'm Becky Anderson for you in London.
Coming up in the next 30 minutes, almost two years after Air France Flight 447 crashed, investigators are getting closer to determining what went wrong. Why the mystery could now be solved.
Plus, security preparations are underway for a groundbreaking state visit by Britain's Queen Elizabeth.
And she's one of the most famous faces in the supermodel world but, now, Gisele Bundchen is tackling a new frontier. She's your Connector of the Day tonight, so she'll be with you shortly.
All those stories are ahead. First, as ever at this point, let's get you a very quick check of the headlines.
Well, the head of the International Monetary Fund remains in police custody after a judge in New York denied him bail, calling him a flight risk. Dominique Strauss-Kahn is charged with sexually assaulting a housekeeper at a New York hotel on Saturday.
International Criminal Court's chief prosecutor has requested arrest warrants for Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi and two of his -- members of his regime. They are accused of committing crimes against humanity. Libya's government accuses the ICC of reaching incoherent conclusions.
US Senator John Kerry has paid a visit to Pakistan at a delicate time for relations between the two nations. Kerry said the US doesn't need to apologize for the raid that killed Osama bin Laden. Kerry also said that the two nations need to mend their frayed relations.
Real estate mogul Donald Trump won't be running in next year's US presidential election. He'd hinted that he might seek the Republican Party's nomination, but he now says business remains his greatest passion, and he isn't ready to leave the private sector.
And the Space Shuttle Endeavor has lifted off on its final mission, a 16-day trip to the International Space Station. CNN's John Zarrella was there to witness it for you.
JOHN ZARRELLA, CNN CORRESPONDENT: The Space Shuttle Endeavor, on its 25th and final space flight, is on its way to the International Space Station carrying six astronauts.
When Endeavor returns home, it will have flown 115 million miles, carrying 139 different astronauts into space. The launch from the Kennedy Space Center went flawlessly.
PIA CARUSONE, CHIEF OF STAFF TO REP. GABRIELLE GIFFORDS: For all of us, we sort of speechless during this process, so there -- I can't say there were a lot of words during the viewing.
But she did at the end say to me, I was sort of sitting to her left, and she looked up at me and she said, "Good stuff. Good stuff." That was the thing I remember.
But it wasn't a lot of talking at that moment. We were more cheering, clapping, you know, kind of really taking a moment to absorb what we were seeing.
ZARRELLA: In its cargo bay, the Shuttle Endeavor is carrying the Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer, a $2 billion scientific device that scientists say could revolutionize their understanding of the universe.
Endeavor will return to the Kennedy Space Center in 16 days. John Zarrella, CNN, at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida.
ANDERSON: Well, there's been plenty of speculation surrounding the crash of Air France Flight 447 but, over two years, no real answers.
Well, now, the truth behind the tragic death of 228 people is at the fingertips of investigators. In recent weeks, an elite search team found the plane's flight data and cockpit voice recorders some 12,000 feet deep in the Atlantic Ocean.
Well, that was all very well, but after being submerged at such depths for such a long time, investigators were not hopeful of salvaging any information. But we've learned today that the data is in good condition, and a preliminary analysis could now be just weeks away.
It's an incredible position to be in, given the circumstances and the difficulty of the salvage operation. Well, I sat down with my colleague Richard Quest, who is an expert on aviation, a little earlier and began by asking him if this could finally amount to a mystery solved.
RICHARD QUEST, CNN CORRESPONDENT: It is of crucial importance that they have not only got the flight data recorders and the cockpit voice recorders, but that the information has been downloaded successfully.
When the plane -- before the plane went down, nearly two dozens error messages, a long list of them, came out from the computer and were received by Air France.
They don't know what caused it, and the only way they were ever going to find out what caused it was knowing what was happening on the plane and, most important, Becky, what was happening in the cockpit at the time.
ANDERSON: Is there a sense of urgency, here, given that Airbus and Air France are under formal investigation for involuntary manslaughter?
QUEST: The urgency is party for the legal process of 447, but I don't think that is the absolute. That is looking in the rearview mirror to what happened.
The real urgency is to what happens in the future. And to give you an example of this, they've only just downloaded the information, but I've received a letter from sources that -- from Airbus. Airbus is already writing to the airlines who operate Airbus aircraft saying "we don't know yet, but we'll keep you informed."
Now, that might seem like, why bother writing if there's nothing to tell you? But it sort of says, Airbus has no immediate recommendations to raise to operators.
Well, what will happen, of course, is that the first bit of information that they get that tells them what caused this, they will let operators of their airlines what went wrong so that they can start to avoid making the same mistakes.
ANDERSON: Richard Quest, speaking to me earlier.
Well, the recovery of the data recorders has been welcomed, but the fate of victims' remains also found at the crash site has been a sensitive and divisive issue. Two bodies have been brought to the surface for testing, but a French court has now ruled that no further remains should be recovered out of the respect for the victims' families.
Well, from Brazil, I'm joined now by Maarten Van Sluys who lost his sister in the Air France crash. An interesting decision by the French judges. Is that one you agree with? Would you now rather your sister's remains were left at peace?
MAARTEN VAN SLUYS, VICTIM'S BROTHER: No, actually, we have a different understanding here in Brazil.
The families which are connected to our association, we do not understand this particular decision of the French justice that they will, first of all, find -- try to find out if the DNA tests will be possible on the two bodies that have been recovered.
And then, after that, only, they will decide whether or not all bodies will be taken out of the sea bottom or not. This is, to me, a very, very strange decision.
ANDERSON: I know you've been waiting, Maarten, two years, you and your family, for information about what went wrong. How do you feel about the -- knowing now that the data in the cockpit and flight recorders is readable and then, at some point soon, we may get some answers?
VAN SLUYS: Yes, it's very release. It's a big release for us, that we have been fighting for disclosure of the truth after two years. And this was a very positive reaction among our people, here, in Brazil.
We -- but the letter who informed us about this discovery doesn't mention how long, exactly, we will hear about the -- the report with -- in connection with the data that has been in the voice recorder and the data recorder.
And for us, of course, we have some reasons to believe that maybe all the facts will not be brought to the public. We want, of course, that the voice recorders come to public opinion as well as the full, complete report of the data.
ANDERSON: Maarten, tell me. As we've reported this story over the past two years, it's often the French side of the story that we report, the Air France story and the Airbus story. Indeed, the story of French victims. How well supported have you been as the Brazilian families who lost loved ones?
VAN SLUYS: Yes, in the first -- in the very first moment we got here, Air France people were taking care of the families in medical assistance and psychological assistance. But this only for the, let us say, the first 15 days.
And after that, all we got was only information letters. Those letters without much details of what's -- what was going on. They were very, very careful in connecting the families.
And then, after the -- when the time was running, all kinds of support just disappeared, so the families are -- we'll say stranded since then.
And now, in the -- in this next step, now, with the findings of the bodies, we have a lot of families who are living again this nightmare, without any kind of contact or support or any help of the carrier, let us say, the Air France company and nobody else.
Even the French governors, nobody's taking care of the families in this moment, which is very hard for everybody.
ANDERSON: I -- and I understand. I'm interested to know how you found out about the fact that this data is now readable, one hopes readable, on the flight recorder and the data recorder, the black box, effectively. Did Air France or Airbus write to you, or is this something you learned through the media?
VAN SLUYS: No, the BEA, which is the investigation chamber or institute in France sent us a letter this morning, first in French and English, and then the Portuguese version, as well, just reporting this information that was later released for the -- to the press.
For -- we have two separate ways, here, of connection with the families. The BEA, who's taking care of the technical research, and the French justice, is taking care about the bodies. That means they have two kinds of connections for the victims' families. One ambassador, who writes everything concerning the bodies, and the BEA, who is taking care of the technical investigation.
ANDERSON: Well, of course, we hope that --
VAN SLUYS: But for us, makes really no sense at all that the BEA is investigating and saying now, we are not -- we don't want to blame anyone. This will be done by the justice.
ANDERSON: All right.
VAN SLUYS: But how can you investigate anything without -- showing what went wrong?
ANDERSON: And let's hope that we learn more as the data is revealed. Maarten, we appreciate your time this evening, we thank you very much, indeed, for joining us here on CONNECT THE WORLD.
Well, it's been over 100 years since a British monarch has set foot in Ireland. As Queen Elizabeth gets ready for what is going to be a sensitive state visit, why some in the country are against the trip.
ANDERSON: Police in London checked manhole covers in the capital following a security alert. Authorities are urging residents to be vigilant. Officers carried out sweeps across the city and closed a major road leading to Buckingham Palace.
The warning came hours ahead of an historic visit by the queen to Ireland. Well, Britain's Queen Elizabeth has visited 129 countries so far in her reign, but she has never set foot in her closest neighbor, the Republic of Ireland.
The Irish War of Independence led to the partition of Ireland in 1921, and this week's state visit marks a reconciliation between the two neighbors. But it will also drum up memories of a violent past. Fionnuala Sweeney reports.
FIONNUALA SWEENEY, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The queen's visit may not be the priority issue for every Dubliner, but security is very much front and center for this, the most sensitive of state visits. All police leaves have been canceled.
Britain is Ireland's nearest neighbor. Now an independent republic, Ireland once was Britain's most problematic entity. History runs deep in the Irish psyche and, for some, Queen Elizabeth's visit is highly objectionable, with Northern Ireland still nominally under British rule.
BRIAN LEESON, EIRIGI CHAIRMAN: Firstly, the ongoing British occupation of six counties. Secondly, Britain's role in the invasions and occupations of Iraq and Afghanistan. And thirdly, given it's an absolute waste of money at a time when this state can ill-afford to fund hospitals and schools.
SWEENEY: Others disagree with political protesters.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Ah, they should grow up. Don't mind them protesting about the economic situation, but politics is not an issue anymore.
SWEENEY: Ireland's dire economic circumstances has many worried about the visit's security costs, estimated to be in the millions of dollars. But for the Irish government, the threat from dissident republicans is reason enough for such spending.
TOM CLONAN, "IRISH TIMES" SECURITY ANALYST: They've built up their engineering skills, their ability to attack, and they've also come together and formed a most -- more sort of coherent organization. So, for those reasons, we can't discount the threat to the queen during her visit.
Sinn Fein, however, which at first called the queen's visit premature, is now sounding a more conciliatory tone.
GERRY ADAMS, PRESIDENT, SINN FEIN: This visit gives the opportunity for the British establishment to set out its position and, hopefully, to hasten the day that we can have for the first time a relationship between the two islands based upon equality and respect and self-determination.
SWEENEY: But first, this week's royal visit has to pass off peacefully. Already, some preemptive arrests have been made. Irish police are keeping a watchful eye on potential troublemakers.
DECLAN POWER, SECURITY ANALYST: They would be paying close attention to people on the fringes of protest groups and dissident republican groups who would be likely to want to cause trouble.
(MUSIC - "WHICH SIDE ARE YOU ON?")
SWEENEY: Fionnuala Sweeney, CNN, Dublin.
ANDERSON: Well, the state of the economy is a big deal for many in Ireland right now. Bertie Ahern stepped down, you'll remember, as the Irish prime minister in 2008 just months before the international banking crisis of September that year. Fionnuala asked him if he had seen it coming.
BERTIE AHERN, FORMER PRIME MINISTER OF IRELAND: Obviously, the property boom could not sustain itself. We knew that.
But the element of the banking crisis, the fact that the banks had acted so irresponsibly that there were such problems, unfortunately, we did not see that, nor did our central bank or our regulator.
And that was, I think, the huge sadness of the last few years, that we didn't have a plan to deal with it.
SWEENEY: President Obama talked about going with his gut, and the great thing about going with your gut in the bin Laden raid is that, if it works, it's fantastic. If it doesn't, it's not so good.
In terms of your gut knowing that there was a problem, perhaps, with the mortgage sector, did you ever think with your gut that it needed to be addressed to the extent that it wasn't?
AHERN: Well, I think we did. I mean, we started taking away the incentives for the property and we tried to stop people borrowing there.
The problem for us was, in the normal course of a heated economy, or an overheated economy, as we probably were, we were well at 11 and 12 percent, we should have been pumping up interest rates, and we should've been trying to take money out of the system.
And in the euro, the opposite was happening. We were lowering interest rates. That was a problem, and we didn't have the power or the ability to be able to stake up interest rates during that period. So, that just kept the boom going stronger and stronger.
Now, at the property end, I think, wouldn't have been a problem if we didn't get the banking crisis. What's really crippled Ireland in the last three years has been the banking crisis.
SWEENEY: Will Ireland stay in Europe and in the euro?
AHERN: Yes. There is no place for us outside us. Hopefully, Europe can get on top of themselves. I think we're still in -- my gut feeling is that we're still into a difficult year. I don't think the Europe -- the European crisis is over yet. I think we still have to see how that's going to fall out.
And then, I hate to say it, but I don't really see what the plan is. I hope somebody has it, but they're not articulating.
ANDERSON: Bertie Ahern, a former prime minister, there. And, of course, the queen on an historic visit to Ireland starting tomorrow. Fionnuala will, of course, be following every step of the way.
Well, stay with us on CONNECT THE WORLD here on CNN. Next up, the Brazilian beauty stepping up her fight to reduce the global footprint. Model Gisele Bundchen is your Connector of the Day. Stay with us.
ANDERSON: Many people in the fashion business say that tonight's Connector of the Day is the only supermodel -- is the only true supermodel left, is what I wanted to say.
There's little doubt that Gisele Bundchen is leaving her mark on the catwalk, but it is her mark on the environment that she is increasingly concerned about. Let's get you connected to the Brazilian beauty who wants to inspire a generation to be greener.
ANDERSON (voice-over): She's topped "Forbes'" list as the highest- paid model in the world, and it's not hard to see why. Brazilian-born Gisele Bundchen has a face and a figure recognized the world over.
Discovered when she was barely in her teens, she went on to be come a professional volleyball player before becoming a full-time model. After moving to the States, she quickly became the most famous of the Victoria Secret models and went on to score deals with numerous other brands.
Bundchen's romantic life also became the target of much gossip when she began dating actor Leonardo DiCaprio in 2002. The two of since broken up, and today she's married to American football legend Tom Brady.
This month, she's tackling a new frontier. She's a United Nations environmental ambassador and recently set up a program to encourage reforestation. She spoke to me about the reasons behind the cause.
GISELE BUNDCHEN, SUPERMODEL: I have learned that in order for us to make a significant impact on our planet, in our world, we first have to be educated about what we can do to help.
Because we can all make conscious decisions that will better the world, regardless of our age, our nationality, or our economic status. And that's what I kind of feel that I'm able to work with with the UN, kind of bring out the information.
ANDERSON (on camera): Steven says, "How do you rationalize your globe-trotting work as a supermodel? It must give you an enormous carbon footprint." And your work as an environmentalist.
BUNDCHEN: Part of my job is to travel. I -- unfortunately, I can't really live in one place. I think today -- in today's world, it's more about finding ways on how we can learn how to live in harmony with nature and how we can do steps -- everyday steps -- to make a difference.
Like in our house, we do recycling everything. When I wash dishes, when I clean the house, when I wash, when I brush my teeth, every single little thing that I do, I'm thinking about how can I preserve water? How can I do it in a better way? So, it's just like a thought process that happens in my mind every day.
ANDERSON: Paulo asks, while we're onto where you are, of course, because you are from Brazil, do you miss it?
BUNDCHEN: Living in Brazil?
BUNDCHEN: Yes. You know, my family is everything to me, and we all remember that. Now, I'm starting my new family, my husband and my kids and now I live in America, but I miss my family and I miss the warmth of my country and its people.
ANDERSON: What do you do in your downtime and how do you organize your very public life so that you actually get downtime out of the glare of the press?
BUNDCHEN: I do very much so. I actually live in Boston six months out of the year, and I also have a little paradise place that I call -- you know, I have Brazil and I have a place in -- I'm not going to tell you where, but it's in the middle of the forest.
So, that's where I actually go to feel really -- to go back to my roots when I'm feeling a little bit like -- hectic. And -- but I feel like my life is actually very private. I don't go out very much.
I actually just -- I only go in public places whenever I feel like -- like I just went to Harvard, I gave a speech on the Harvard environmental day thing, because they were giving an award, and I went to the UN because that was a project for the Champions of the Earth, because they were awarding these amazing people who have done amazing things.
I just think simple people like all of us who are making initiative and making a change in the world. So, when it's things like that, I go and I'm in public. But otherwise, I'm pretty much -- I'm very low-key, I like being home, I like being with my family, I like being with my kids, and that's what I love doing, so --
ANDERSON: All right. Last question to you. Two -- two questions in one. Jose Coelho says, "Have you ever thought about setting up your own modeling agency in Brazil?"
And Isabel says, as a mother of 12 -- of a 12-year-old who dreams of being the next Gisele, should she encourage her child early to get into what is a very cutthroat and competitive industry? Both of those questions.
BUNDCHEN: I would never have a modeling agency, I don't think. I'm a big believer of you have to follow your dreams and go after what you want, and that's the only way it can happen. So, that's what I think.
But I want to say one more thing. I was in this UN event two days ago and I read something on the panel that said something like we are the first generation to have the opportunity to create significant change in the environment. But we are also the last one that will have the option to do so. What do you think about that?
ANDERSON: What do you think about that? She makes a very good point, doesn't she?
Tonight's Parting Shots for you -- that of course was Gisele, she's one of your Connectors of the Day. You can find those on the site, cnn.com/connect.
Now, Parting Shots. Things got a little hairy in Trondheim in Norway at the World Beard and Mustache Championship. This submission by Hans- Peter Weis from Germany.
The event is held every two years. Competing for first place, more than 160 contenders from 15 countries. Not sure what all -- this one's all about, but anyway --
American Rooty Lundvahl stuck out his tongue while competing in the Full Beard Natural category.
See -- here we see Fritz Sendlhofer of Austria, who won first place in the Garibaldi category.
The overall winner is a 47-year-old German hairdresser called Elmar Weisser. His facial hair has a moose molded into it, right there on the right-hand side of your screen, can you see that? And on the left, it's a Norwegian flag. And he has won several times before.
And I leave you with those images as I bid you a very good evening. It's your world connected. The world news headlines and "BackStory" will follow this short break. Don't go away.